Friday, August 1, 2008

Fat Cat's Owner Found; Lost Home to Foreclosure

A senior citizen contacted the Camden County Animal Shelter to claim ownership of a 44-pound cat found in Voorhees, N.J., nicknamed "Prince Chunk." But the woman can't afford to take the heavy feline back after losing her home to foreclosure.

"It broke my heart to give him up," Donna Oklatner told "I could not take care of him. I love him. It broke me heart. I wanted him to have a good home."

The cat, whose real name is "Powder," gained national attention this week after reports that he was found abandoned. But Oklatner told that she had given Powder to friends who said they'd take him to a shelter.

"Nobody would take him," the 68-year-old woman told the station. "And then one of the neighbors — I'm not going to say where, but a friend of mine — said 'Listen, we know you can't afford to have Powder.' And it's not because he ate too much.

"It was because of the foreclosure and my not having a home, a place to go," she continued. "So they said they would take him and put him in a shelter."

Shelter officials told that they had received Prince Chunk after Animal Control found him outdoors without a collar in Voorhees.

The Prince's gender has been in question since the cat was found last week. Officials initially thought the cat was a boy, and named him Captain Chunk, but then decided he was a she, opting for the Princess moniker. But on Thursday, a veterinarian said the cat was indeed male, with the name Prince Chunk seeming to stick.

"Obviously she did take very good care of this cat, and she very much loved this cat," Debbie Wright, who is fostering the cat, told FOX News on Thursday.

She said Prince Chunk is "sweet. He purrs, loves his belly being rubbed."

Shelter officials had to use a dog scale to weigh the cat, who is only a couple of pounds lighter than the heaviest cat on record, a 46-pound, 15-ounce tabby in Australia that died in the 1980s.

Wright told FOX News that now that Prince Chunk will be going up for adoption, he'll be taken in for tests to see if he has a thyroid problem.

Jennifer Anderch, the executive director of the shelter, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Prince Chunk's owner found a home for the cat's brother, a big cat she said was "not nearly as chunky as Chunky."

The shelter has at least 20 formal applications to adopt the portly Prince, Anderch said.

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Web Scout: Spinning through online entertainment and connected culture.

DiggDogg! L.A. has 50 dogs named 'Digger'

Find a good story down there, fella?
(Photo credit: Waldo Jaquith / Flickr user )

Here, Digger!

According to the L.A Times' nifty new Doggy Database, it turns out that 50 pooches in the area go by that very name.

Raising the question: How long would it take 50 dogs named "Digger" at 50 computers to submit the exact same set of stories that Digg users have already submitted?

Also receiving an honorable mention is the guy who went a step further and named his pup "Digger dawg."

But, as often happens in discussions of Digg, "Buzz" is getting unfairly left out. There are actually 124 L.A. dogs named Buzz. I was shocked to find that no local owners named their dogs "Delicious," even though dogs abound with names like "Dr. Ruff" and "Betti Spaghetti."

Four local canines are named "Google," making it, according to the database, the 9,100th most common L.A. dog name.

If you find any funny Web 2.0-related dogs, please send along and I'll add to the post.

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Turtle Leads Police to Marijuana Field; Teen Charged

Rock Creek Park MarijuanaTurtle

WASHINGTON –While you might normally spot D.C. area residents running, biking, or hiking through Rock Creek Park, it's rare to find someone using the park to grow marijuana.

U.S. Park Police say thanks to a box turtle, that's exactly what they discovered earlier this month. Authorities say a Maryland teenager is facing charges after allegedly turning a Rock Creek Park field into a marijuana farm, which was discovered by a National Park Services employee who was conducting research.

On July 14, authorities say the employee was tracking a box turtle that was outfitted with a GPS device for research purposes when the discovery was made.

The turtle was found in a remote area of the park south of the Maryland line, where they found approximately 10 marijuana plants growing. According to park police, the field appeared to be actively tended.

The U.S. Park Police were put on alert and surveillance was set up to monitor the area. Police say they soon spotted 19-year-old Isiah Johnson caring for the plants.

Park police began working with the Montgomery County Police officers, and they obtained a warrant for Johnson's arrest. Johnson was arrested at his home on Washington Avenue in Chevy Chase on Wednesday. Johnson is awaiting extradition to D.C. on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Anyone with more information about this incident is asked to please call the United States Park Police, Criminal Investigations Branch at (202) 610-8737.

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Live fish caught at record depth

By Anna-Marie Lever
Science and Nature reporter, BBC News


Deep-sea fish caught at record depth

A live deep-sea fish has been caught at a record depth of 2,300m on the hot vents of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Three shrimp species were also pulled to the surface, researchers report in the journal Deep-Sea Research.

Scientists have engineered a new device that allows recovery of live animals under their natural pressure at greater depths than previously achieved.

Next they hope to be able to transfer the animals into an experimental lab to study their normal biology.

"Pressurised recovery has been around for the past 30 years, but this is the deepest fish-capture under pressure - the previous record was 1,400m. This is also the first time pressurised capture has occurred at a hydrothermal vent," said Dr Bruce Shillito, marine biologist at the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France.

The shrimp species were caught at 1,700m (5,600ft; Mirocaris fortunata and Chorocaris chacei) and 2,300m (7,500ft; Rimicaris exoculata) at two vent fields, Lucky Strike and Rainbow, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Scientists examine Periscop onboard (B.Shillito)
Scientists watch the deep-sea fish inside the Periscop onboard ship

Dr Shillito explains: "At depths of over 1,000m, it is difficult to recover animals alive. Catching with no pressure is as good as catching dead. Fish are the most fragile - even a fisherman with a 100m line will probably reel in a catch whose gas bladder is in its mouth."

Although the fish caught by the team was a zoarcid (Pachycara saldanhai) and had no gas bladder, it was sensitive to full decompression.

At the surface, under pressure, the fish was active and remained upright, however upon release of pressure its movement became uncoordinated and within a few minutes it was totally motionless.

A similar effect, caused by decompression, was also observed in the shrimp species. At the surface, under pressure, most shrimps were in an upright position and swimming actively and continuously.

When a separate shrimp sample was caught and pulled to the surface without pressure, the animals jerked violently, and after a few hours were dead.

The samples were examined onboard the ship "Pourquoi Pas?" during the Momareto cruise, which was organised by Ifremer, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.


First deep-sea shrimps caught around hydrothermal vent

The next step for Dr Shillito's team is to be able to transfer its catch from the sampling device into a better equipped experimental tank, without decompression, allowing the scientists to observe the animals' normal behaviour and responses to different environments.

"We are particularly interested in the Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana), a vent worm which is thought to be the most thermo-tolerant marine organism, yet remains to be recovered in good enough shape. It is intriguing to find out how heat-resistant this animal is," Dr Shillito told BBC News.

Despite covering about 60% of the Earth's surface, the deep-sea floor ecosystem is poorly understood. Dr Shillito says: "We urgently need to find out more about the place we are destroying."

He adds: "At a time when we are over-fishing the depths of the ocean, we know more about cooking recipes than the biological features of deep-sea fauna."

A new device

The new sampling system for pressured recovery, which has been named Periscop, was developed by Dr Shillito in conjunction with Mr Gerard Hamel, a mechanics engineer at the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie.

It received funding from Exocet/d, a large European research programme.

It has three compartments which perform different tasks - capture at depth, recovery of the deep-sea species under natural pressure, and transfer to the lab with no decompression.

Mid Atlantic Ridge

"In most previous attempts involving pressurised recovery, a single container fulfilled these three tasks - this may lead to contradictory technical requirements," explains Dr Shillito.

The plastic capture box is attached to a submersible arm which allows movement and suction for sampling. The animal is then transferred into a pressurised box. This is kept at the same pressure as the sampling depth during ascent by a pressure compensator.

"We used pressurised water to maintain pressure, which is a safer and a simpler alternative to gas. We hope this method of pressurised recovery will become standard," Dr Shillito said.

As well as pressure shock, when animals are pulled to the surface they suffer from changes in temperature.

"The temperature at depths below 2,000m is pretty constant all over the world - around 2-4C, yet the surface waters where we were sampling were 22-25C," explains Dr Shillito.

He adds: "Heating is difficult to prevent without getting out the heavy gear - using active cooling systems, requiring energy and computer controls - but at least we know that every sample has had the same temperature history; they have the same background story."

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How To: Survive Jail

By Nick Clarke

If Paris Hilton can learn how to survive jail (even if she did try to escape on day four), then you sure as hell can. Whether you’re going in for a driving offense akin to Hilton’s, shaming yourself by pulling a Hugh Grant with a prostitute in the back of your SUV or pulling a Winona Ryder in Saks after you saw something you just couldn’t live without, then you need to pay the price and learn how to survive jail like a man. So pull on that florescent orange jumpsuit, pose for your mugshot, make fast friends with your burly, tattooed cellmate, and -- whatever you do -- keep your back firmly against the wall.

How to behave around inmates

Be respectful to other prisoners: Striding into the yard like you own the place will earn you enemies, and -- in a place where you have to keep your enemies closer than your friends -- this could prove fatal. Stripped to your bare soul, the only three valuable assets you’ll have left are respect, dignity and pride.

Don’t stare at a fellow prisoner: The wrong look inside a prison will either mean you’re their new worst enemy or new best friend. And you’d better believe that being their new worst enemy is better than being the type of new best friend he’d force you to become.

Don’t become a target: If a confrontation does arise -- and, let’s face it, it probably will -- strike first. You must guard your reputation with your life, and giving in to the first confrontational situation will only make you a target for future attacks.

Don’t be a snitch: If you see anything illegal going on -- such as the trading of drugs or another inmate getting hoe checked (beaten by a group) -- walk away. The moment you snitch is the moment you become public enemy number one. While you may have earned brownie points with the wardens, you’ll pay for it in beatings later.

Assess who you can trust: Don’t give in to the temptation to jump at the first offer of protection. Instead, wait a few days, get a sense of the lay of the land, and establish who you can (kind of) trust.

Take nothing on credit: This includes drugs, food, toiletry items or dirty magazines. Being a debtor to someone in prison immediately makes you theirs -- in fact, you might as well put a dog collar around your neck and inscribe it with the word “bitch.” Prison is a game of power -- don’t give yours away.

Avoid becoming a fellow inmate’s “girlfriend”: While being someone’s “girlfriend” will afford you protection from fellow inmates, this protection is fickle; inmates’ “girlfriends” are often traded, sometimes for something as superficial as a pack of cigarettes.

Your first day

Entering prison is not like your first day at school -- it’s worse. You’ll be taken off the prison bus and led inside. The noise will be tremendous and prisoners will be sizing you up, jeering at you and doing everything they can to intimidate you. Don’t let them see weakness; keep your eyes firmly ahead of you and walk confidently inside, but don’t swagger. You’ll have your photograph taken, you'll be asked a couple of questions, and you’ll almost certainly be strip-searched. Although being strip-searched can feel very invasive, you must remember that the prison wardens do this every day and it is a highly impersonal routine for them. Accept your staple supplies -- including your uniform and pillow -- and follow the warden to your cell.

Passing the time

Your time in prison is marked by seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years for the worst criminal offenders. Because there’s so much of this thing we call “time” in prison, it would be foolish to waste it. In prison, you don’t need to worry about the daily pressures of the outside world. Therefore, you should spend every minute of every day inside developing yourself as a human being.

Remember: While you may want to pass the time you spend inside as quickly as possible, it is still time out of your life and you wouldn’t want to throw that away, would you? Make a habit of waking up early and spending the day doing any jobs you are assigned, studying one of the courses available and reading as much as you can. As well as keeping yourself busy, you’ll beat the system -- even though you’re behind bars, they can’t imprison your mind. So many prisoners waste the day by watching television and sleeping. They learn nothing whilst inside, and emerge into the real world as inadequate human beings as they were when they went in.

Preserving your mental health

All around you there’ll be prisoners with mental health problems. The likelihood is that your fellow inmates won’t make life easy for you. Similarly, some wardens won’t be as professional as they should be and will make your stay as uncomfortable as possible; they will taunt and bully you to see if they can make you crack. It’s little wonder why some prisoners are put on suicide watch; after days of being told they’re useless, they come to believe it.

Believe in yourself: Many of the negative thinkers inside will have you doubting yourself, but you shouldn’t. Explain to yourself that you’re not worthless, that you can’t change the past, that you’re paying the price, and that you plan to change your wayward ways. Spend some time thinking about the good person you want to become and want to be perceived as by others. Exert positive thinking over those niggling doubts and you’re halfway there.

Try not to worry about anything you can’t control: What will be, will be. The woman waiting for you on the outside will either be faithful or she’ll jump into the sack with your best friend; your children will either be forgiving or tell their mother that they never want to see you again and mean it; and your pending appeal will either be successful or thrown out of court, while the judges and lawyers are falling over with laughter. Instead of wasting mental energy on issues like these, place focus on positive thinking.

Keep up prayer and meditation: Just because you’ve wound up in jail, it doesn’t mean the big man upstairs won’t listen to you anymore. In fact, now is the time to be repentant and gain that spiritual peace of mind that you’ve been searching for.

Preserving your physical health

Prisons aren’t known to be the most wholesome of places, so it’s up to you to ensure that you keep yourself in tip-top condition. With so much spare time on your hands, you can make sure you walk out like Wentworth Miller in Prison Break -- pumped, strong and ready to take on that big, bad world.

Look after your personal hygiene: Shower as often as you can, brush your teeth twice a day, shave, and comb your hair. As well as making yourself feel good, it will project a powerful message about you to others: You may be down, but you’re certainly not out.

Make sure your living quarters are clean: While you can’t help it if a rat crawls through the iron bars and into your bed, you can do something about it and alert a warden.

Give up your vices: Throw away the cigarettes, say no to booze and pass on the grass. Keep your mind clear and make sure that you break any habits beforehand if you know you’re due to start a sentence (not only will habits get you in trouble with wardens, but they’ll show a sign of weakness to fellow inmates and they’ll prey on them).

Keep eating habits to a minimum inside prison: Prison food is generally fatty, and contains little to no nutritional value. Drink plenty of water and eat fruit whenever it’s available.

Release date

If your release date is coming up, don’t tell anyone. Some inmates take pleasure in stumping the release of other inmates by getting them in trouble. Don’t even tell the inmates you think you’ve become friends with. Remember: Nobody is your friend inside prison. More to the point, don’t say any emotional goodbyes to anyone -- you certainly don’t want to maintain friendships with them on the outside and have them turning up on your doorstep when they’re released. You’ll need to surround yourself with positive influences if you’re determined not to get locked up again.

the lockdown

There is no life inside jail -- just survival. If you can survive your jail sentence without your face being a permanent shade of black and blue, involuntarily embarking on a relationship with a fellow inmate in the shower and being put in solitary confinement for a fight you didn’t start, you’re doing well. Jail isn’t glamorous -- it’s mean, nasty and you sure as hell don’t want to run someone over on purpose just to get a taste of life inside. But if you do end up in the slammer, remember that jail has its very own subculture -- one that you must become a part of as soon as possible if you’re to emerge smiling.

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World's oldest joke traced back to 1900 BC

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's oldest recorded joke has been traced back to 1900 BC and suggests toilet humor was as popular with the ancients as it is today.

It is a saying of the Sumerians, who lived in what is now southern Iraq and goes: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."

It heads the world's oldest top 10 joke list published by the University of Wolverhampton Thursday.

A 1600 BC gag about a pharaoh, said to be King Snofru, comes second -- "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish."

The oldest British joke dates back to the 10th Century and reveals the bawdy face of the Anglo-Saxons -- "What hangs at a man's thigh and wants to poke the hole that it's often poked before? Answer: A key."

"Jokes have varied over the years, with some taking the question and answer format while others are witty proverbs or riddles," said the report's writer Dr Paul McDonald, senior lecturer at the university.

"What they all share however, is a willingness to deal with taboos and a degree of rebellion. Modern puns, Essex girl jokes and toilet humor can all be traced back to the very earliest jokes identified in this research."

The study was commissioned by television channel Dave. The top 10 oldest jokes can be viewed at

(Reporting by John Joseph; Editing by Steve Addison)

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The 8 Most Bizarre Patron Saints

By Jeff Steinbrunner

God's busy, alright? He doesn't have time to sift through every prayer asking for help with a dog bite or syphilis. To help out, over the centuries the Catholic Church has recruited patron saints to act as sort of receptionists to sort through your requests.

And lucky for you, there is a Saint for everything. And we mean everything.

Saint Barbara: Patron Saint of Fireworks

How'd She Become a Saint?

Barbara was daughter to a wealthy heathen named Dioscorus. When she converted to Christianity, he decided that the best way to demonstrate his displeasure would be to have her tortured and then to behead her with his own hands.

But, while strolling home from an execution well done, he was struck by lightning and died. This proved once and for all that the Christian God could cast lightning bolts with every bit the accuracy and velocity of Zeus.

So Why Fireworks?

Because of the deus ex machine death of her persecutor, Barbara was first invoked during thunderstorms, then against sudden deaths in general. But then somebody invented gunpowder and artillery, creating a whole industry where accidental sudden death was a daily risk. Suddenly Saint Barbara was very popular in all the explosion-based activities, and thus became the patron saint of fireworks.

Though we assume she'd be even more popular if she had become the patron saint of smiting your enemies with lightning.

Possible Prayers:

"I don't need all five back, but if you could help me find the index and thumb, that would be terrific."

"Oh Saint Barbara, may you guide my roman candle square in the back of my stupid little brother."

Saint Isidore of Seville: Patron Saint of the Internet

How'd He Become a Saint?

Born circa 560 in Spain, Isidore began his life similar to most modern day American kids, as a really lousy student. Then again, students of those days were expected to complete the Trivium and Quadrivium, meaning if you mastered grammar, logic and rhetoric you were still a dumbass who couldn't make time for geometry, astrology, music and arithmetic.

Burned out on book learning and unable to plagiarize from Wikipedia, Isidore did something unlike American students: he turned to God for help, instead of weed and gallons of alcohol.

After this he became one of the most learned men of his time, writing a dictionary, encyclopedia and complete history of the Goths (that is, the historical barbarians of eastern Europe, not brooding Hot Topic dwellers.)

So Why the Internet?:

He has been widely recognized as the patron saint of both computer users and schoolchildren. Since 90% of what schoolchildren do with computers is surf the internet, it seemed like a pretty logical step. So, in 2003 it was proposed he become the patron saint of the internet and while he still technically hasn't gotten the title yet, we're assuming he doesn't have a lot of competition.

Here's to hoping that with Saint Isidore on board this hell hole can get a makeover, no more with the girls and their tubs and 1 cups.

Possible Prayers:

"I can has absolushun for mai sinz?"

"I LOL'd at my BFF's IM, but got 404, WTF? OMGZ like s4v3 me, kthxbye."

Saint Drogo: Patron Saint of Unattractive People

How'd He Become a Saint?

Drogo's mother died during childbirth, something he felt responsible for because, well he was responsible for it. Because of this he practiced the extreme penance of self flagellation (not to be confused with "X-treme penance", which is slamming a Mountain Dew while surfing a waterfall of lava).

At age 18 he disposed of all property and became a pilgrim, devoting his life to God. Witnesses claim in later life he could magically bilocate (appear in two places at once). This meant he worked the fields and attended Mass simultaneously, miraculously doubling his boredom.

So Why Unattractive People?

During a pilgrimage he was stricken with disease that caused gross deformities. The townsfolk were nice enough to offer him a small cell attached to the church where he wouldn't frighten babies anymore.

Showing an unbelievable amount of self respect he merely survived on water and the Eucharist, and didn't once charge a dollar to let kids peer through the window and throw peanuts at him. 12th century freaks were a classy bunch.

He's also the Patron Saint of coffee houses, presumably because that's where ugly people hang out when "finishing" their novels.

Possible Prayers:

"Oh Saint Drogo, I'm on homecoming court and I don't want a pimple. Could you help me? Preferably by making me look as little like you as possible?"

"So do you make unattractive people hot or just accept themselves for the way they are? Because I'd much rather it be the hot thing."

Saint Genesius of Rome: Patron Saint of Comedians

How'd He Become a Saint?

Put on your funny pants, because this story of sainthood is a real knee slapper. Hired to work in a play that made fun of Christian Baptism, Genesius suddenly received a word from God and realized the truth of Christianity, converting on stage. Naturally, Emperor Diocletian tortured him and when he refused to renounce his faith he was beheaded. It's just like that one episode of Seinfeld.

So Why Comedy?

He's known as the patron saint of actors and performers in general, since that was his profession. But why would he also be the patron saint of comedians, when his big act of sainthood was to stop a comedy performance?

Because we all know Christian comedy is the best. It's laughter with a message! And guilt! Are we right people?

Possible Prayers:

"Is this thing on? Seriously Genesius, could you turn this thing on?"

"Please bless me with hack material that robs idiot college students and rednecks blind. SuFi, Git-r-done and good day."

Saint Polycarp of Smyrna: Patron Saint Against Dysentery and Earaches

How'd He Become a Saint?

Polycarp was a revered Christian leader who hobnobbed with John the Apostle and Ignatius of Antioch. When he was 86 he was sentenced to death, because his pursuers were opposed to just waiting. Polycarp was sentenced to be burned alive, but after being burned at the stake the flames did not harm him, which is truly miraculous. So they decided to stab him to death with daggers and then burn him. Which didn't go so miraculously.

So Why Against Dysentery?

Polycarp may be asking the same question, since the whole not burning could have led to something cool like Patron Saint of Stunt Men. Then again it's better than being for dysentery. Historically, Polycarp was known as a teacher and practical leader, not so much a vessel for supernatural Pepto Bismol. But much of his work was done in areas where people became afflicted with the disorder, and someone's got to take it. He's also against earache, so send some preemptive prayers Polycarp's way before you need help with either, or worse, both.

Possible Prayers:

"Listen bro, I haven't made it to mass while I was down here in Cancun on spring break, but like, I've got some of Montezuma's Revenge going on and I could use a little help."

"Oh, no! Help me Polycarp! I just bought these pants!"

Saint Fiacre: Patron Saint of People with STDs

How'd He Become a Saint?

Fiacre's path to sainthood began with the lofty goal of living alone in the woods. The legend goes that he went to France and found some woods owned by the Bishop Faro, who offered him as much land as he could clear in one day. Fiacre agreed and used his magic spade to topple trees and uproot bushes. A local woman claimed witchcraft, but Bishop Faro declared it a miracle instead.

Fiacre got his woods but failed miserably at being alone. He built a hospice and used his miraculous healing touch to cure anyone in need. Unless you were a woman. He banned all women from his sacred place of hermitage.

So Why STDs?

As a sacred healer he could cure blindness, leprosy, tumors and more, all by touch. "More" also includes venereal disease. His patronage was assigned to the ailments he healed which means a lot of happy endings for 7th century dongs. He is also the Patron Saint of gardeners and cab drivers and we think that means you can bang gardeners and cab drivers condom free. It's cool. Just tell them good old St. Fiacre has your back. And your front. Basically wherever you catch sex grime.

Possible Prayers:

"Hey Fiacre, does whiskey and Cheetos make pee burn this bad or should I see a doctor?"

"I know you hate women and all, but can you make this a clean one? I'm out of rubbers and I will not use a sandwich bag again."

Saint Cyprian of Antioch: Patron Saint of Occultists

How'd He Become a Saint?

Like all great stories of redemption Cyprian's starts with an attempted rape using demon minions.

As a pagan sorcerer who dealt with the devil, Cyprian wasn't great with the ladies and when he fell in love with a Christian woman named Justina he thought it best to use the black arts. Justina, who warded off dozens of hell spawned sexual assaults in her time, made the sign of the cross and repelled the evil spirits. Cyprian was freed from his own dark spells and became a priest and bishop, while his nonsexual friendship with Justina grew.

Then, you guessed it, both were ordered to be tortured and beheaded by Emperor Diocletian, the same guy who executed the patron saint of comedians up there. That dude was a Saint making machine.

So Why Occultists?

Well, other than the fact that he was basically Lord freaking Voldemort before his conversion, Cyprian also wrote a book of powerful spells. Spells that are as powerful as praying or invoking Saints. The book spread, being published in several languages and making Cyprian the patron saint of witches, sorcerers, and spiritual workers, good and evil, but more commonly ineffective and annoying.

Possible Prayers:

"As wiccan high priestess I invoke the name of Saint Cyprian to guide my level 3 charm spell on Zac Efron!"

"Cyprian, keep my magic dark, my powers strong and don't allow the jocks to throw piss balloons at me while I cry in the cemetery."

Saint Jesus Malverde: Patron Saint of Drug Dealers

How'd He Become a Saint?

In all honesty, Jesus Malverde is not an officially recognized saint by the Vatican. But don't tell that to the countless believers who flock to his shrine and offer prayers. And doesn't that make him a lot like another Jesus we've all heard about? The answer is a definite why-the-hell-not.

Malverde is a folklore hero in Mexico and legend says he was a bandit killed by law enforcement on May 3rd 1909. His manner of demise often changes, from hanging to epic shootout, making his life a veritable choose-your-own-adventure of turn of the century Mexican violence. Some tales even say he was betrayed by a friend for a reward, while others claim he once turned water into black tar heroin.

So Why Drug Dealers?

In the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Malverde has been turned into a Robin Hood figure, robbing from the rich and selling drugs for profit. This outlaw image made him popular amongst the poor and the drug trafficking business adopted him as their Patron Saint. He has a shrine in Culiacan where thousands travel to ask for miracles. Not being picked up by DEA while praying there is one such miracle.

Possible Prayers:

"May my sneakers be tied tight and the pigs fat and slow."

"Oh blessed Jesus Malverde, please don't let the K-9 unit sniff out the kilo of coke I have hidden in your hollow statue."

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Crow 'that thinks it is a dog' attacks postman

By Matthew Moore

Jack steals dog treats from the bowls of his canine companions... Photo: APEX

Jack the crow eats dog treats, jumps up on his owner’s lap and has even started attacking the postman.

He was taken in by the Notaro-Livingstones after they found him outside his nest and unable to fend for himself while out fishing.

Small and vulnerable, he could not even lift his own head and needed close care.

But ten weeks later he is showing no sign of wanting to leave his new home, and has started adopting the habits of the five dogs in the household.

"Whenever we get in the car, he jumps in too because he wants to come with us,” said 12-year-old Cheryl Notaro-Livingstone, from Huntsworth, Somerset.

"And when mum comes back, he jumps on her lap like an excitable puppy.

"He is stubborn but really thinks he is part of the family."

Jack is free to come and go as he pleases and often disappears for a day, but returns home to hop around the worktops and drink from the kitchen sink.

He also steals dog treats from the bowls of his canine companions.

Joe Notaro-Livingstone, 11, who discovered Jack, said: "I brought him home and we looked after him now he thinks he's a dog and he tries to protect us - he even jumps on the postman's head."

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THIS picture cannot be explained

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